Eleanore Wurtzel’s Plant Science Breakthroughs Featured in Science

The pioneering work of Professor Eleanore T. Wurtzel (GC/Lehman, Biology), whose research is at the forefront of plant science, is featured in a special issue of Science.
The issue focuses on technologies that are redefining how plant biology will meet demands of health, medicine, energy and agriculture.
Wurtzel, along with Dr. Toni M. Kutchan of the Donald Danforth Center in St. Louis, Missouri, was invited to contribute a paper for the issue on translational plant science. It is one of four articles that highlight a vision for plant biology and the potential impact on society.
The paper presents recent examples of technologies that are transforming how we study plant metabolism and how we implement these discoveries to develop the plants and microbes of tomorrow. By decoding the plant genome, scientists are laying out the chemical pathway necessary to design novel chemicals, disease-fighting drugs, new sources of energy, and plants that can better manage their ecological environments.
“The plant kingdom offers an untapped bounty of novel chemistry, enzymes and genes that are poised for discovery using advanced technologies,” Wurtzel said. “Investment in plant science research and education, involving interdisciplinary partnerships, will accelerate scientific advances needed to transform the fields of health and nutrition, bioenergy and agriculture.”
Wurtzel is renowned for her long-standing research on provitamin A carotenoid biosynthesis. Her research and scientific insight have enabled sustainable solutions to global vitamin A deficiency, including vitamin A-rich maize for Africa, Golden Rice for Asia, and vitamin A-rice Cassava for Africa and South America. 
In recognition of her research, Wurtzel was elected in 2006 as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 2012, she was elected as a fellow of the American Society of Plant Biologists.

Submitted on: SEP 15, 2016

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